Hypancistrus inspector L102

Photo: Haakon Haagensen


Black with white spots is a pattern type found in many Hypancistrus species, such as this one. H.inspector has become rare in the hobby these days, even though it’s allowed for export from Brazil. It originates from tributaries of the Rio Negro, Brazil, and is characterized by it’s big eyes and the black edging to it’s fins. This is the largest known Hypancistrus species.


Name: Hypancistrus inspector (Armbruster, 2002)

Trade names: Snowball Pleco, L102

Origin: Rio Negro, Brazil, Casiquiare channel, Brazil/Colombia

Maximum size: 20 cm / 8”

For some time there was confusion whether or not the name Hypancistrus inspector belonged to L102, L201 or the later described Hypancistrus contradens. This confusion still remains among less experienced fishkeepers. Some individuals of Hypancistrus inspector have a rust-red hue, sometimes just in the spots and sometimes even on their body colouration. It was previously thought to be a trait only found in some males, but later reports suggests that even females can show these traits.

L102 needs an aquarium set up consisting of lots of hiding places in the form of rocks, wood and of course specially made caves that suit their measurements. In these the males will eventually guard their offspring. They prefer water that is fairly warm (27-30 C), soft and slightly acidic. Most of all it should be well oxygenated and clean, so a good filtration system and frequent water changes are essential. Among themselves they are fairly peaceful, although males may quarrel for caves and females can sometimes be badly injured or even killed during the breeding-trapping in the male’s cave.

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